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What is this beast that stung me?

Description: This thing stung me 4 days ago & I finally found him on the window sill today. Maybe it was laying on its back when I caught a glimpse of it after it stung me, cuz I didn't see this much yellow. I didn't think it was a yellow jacket then, & am still not conviniced... I thought yellow jackets were skinnier than this, & descriptions I find says they have 2 sets of wings. This has 1 set. I havent found any pics yet of anything with DOTS like this 1 has!

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What is this beast that stung me?    Bookmark and Share Post a Comment | Report Photo   
User: PattyS (see all of PattyS's photos)
Views: 1916
Date: 02/27/07
Filesize: 11.9k, 242 X 290
Image URL: http://gallery.kingsnake.com/data/125359culpretLg.jpg
Author Thread  

WISkywatcher

Registered: 03/2005
Location: Stoughton, WI
Posts: 13

This is indeed a yellowjacket-the German yellowjacket Vespula germanica to be precise. It would be a female, since male Hymenopterans cannot sting. At first glance they appear to only have 1 pair of wings, but they actually have 2 pairs that are hooked together. Look at the thorax (the part of the insect where the wings and legs join the body). You should see four wing join points.
05-26-2007 01:16AM View WISkywatcher's Profile Visit WISkywatcher's Homepage! View WISkywatcher's Gallery  

WISkywatcher

Registered: 03/2005
Location: Stoughton, WI
Posts: 13

Actually, this one even fooled me for a moment. You really do have to look carefully at these things to make a specific identification. This wasp is the western yellowjacket, Vespula pensylvanica. No other female yellowjacket has the yellow rings fully encirciling the eyes when viewed from above as here, even though the pattern of stripes and dots on the top of the gaster is virtually identical to V. germanica.
05-26-2007 01:19AM View WISkywatcher's Profile Visit WISkywatcher's Homepage! View WISkywatcher's Gallery  

PattyS

Registered: 02/2007
Location: SE Oregon Interior
Posts: 2

Thanx, WISkywatcher! I did find the Western Yellowjacket on a bee site somewhere (can't recall the name now), with the description that matches your detail about the rings around the eyes. Interestiing critters, the different types of bees!

It was a nasty sting... my whole hand swelled up, even though the bite was inside the first knuckle of my pinky finger! I took Benadryl for it & it took several days for my hand to return to normal. TWO WEEKS later, the skin on my pinky was peeling off & I thought I had some sort of skin condition! Someone reminded me about the sting & said that the same thing happened on her leg after a sting from the same kind of "bee".

Funny, the wallop such a little creature can pack!
06-02-2007 02:45AM View PattyS's Profile View PattyS's Gallery